$25 Billion Airline Bailout: Why is the Government So Determined to Pick Winners and Losers?

The airlines are back, hat in hand, looking for money and threatening to fire thousands if they don’t get it.

Of course, they already got $25 billion via the first coronavirus stimulus package. But, that’s apparently not enough.

They need $25 billion more.

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Why we are using taxpayer funds to bail out an industry that had demonstrated its problems so evidently even prior to Covid-19?

Let’s face it–airline travel is pretty bad. They pack us in like sardines, throw us a bag of peanuts, charge us whatever they feel like, and tell us to have a nice flight.

If they cancel a flight, or it’s delayed and you miss your connection? Good luck.

The balance of powers is tipped entirely in the airline’s favor with customers now akin to cattle, behind herded on and off flights like a form of cargo.

I, for one, have had it. That’s no way to travel. It’s quite evident they’re running a lousy business from all perspectives. The airlines are struggling to turn a profit and consumers are miserable.

So, why should the U.S. taxpayer save the airlines when they’re perfectly capable of figuring it out themselves? After all, I don’t see a move for Congress to save the local dry-cleaners which is also struggling with the onset of coronavirus, but it will work overtime to save big business?

Granted, there are more employees. But, before we give handouts to these big businesses, while effectively ignoring the small ones, consider that these airlines have the ability to restructure themselves… and the money to do so.

As my friends at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity point out, the market cap on the airlines is quite sizable.

  • Delta $20 Billion
  • Southwest $23 Billion
  • United is $11 Billion
  • American $6.7 Billion

So, rather than tap the American taxpayer, why not consider tapping equity shareholders? These airlines are desperately in need of change and there are many ways to offer lifelines without putting the burden on the American people and stalling the inevitable; a restructuring of the industry.

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